Brundle recognizes ‘no brainer’ move for Sainz for 2025

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Sky F1’s Martin Brundle sees Red Bull Racing as a “no brainer choice” for free agent Carlos Sainz, but insists Sergio Perez holds the key to F1’s driver market for 2025.

Projections for next year’s grid have been in a state of flux ever since Lewis Hamilton announced his bombshell move to Ferrari at the end of this season.

Unfortunately, the deal between F1’s most successful team and its most prosperous driver has left Sainz facing the unemployment line for 2025.

However, the Spaniard is unlikely to remain jobless next year given his impressive start to his 2024 campaign which has seen him score two podiums and one outright win in the three races in which he has taken part, all while recovering from an appendectomy that forced him to miss the Saudi Arabian GP.

With his talent undeniable, speculation is swirling about his future destination, with Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Audi-Sauber all mentioned as possibilities.

But Brundle believes a move to Red Bull would be a clear choice for Sainz.

“It’s really tough for him,” Brundle said on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“In pre-season I said I thought he was going to fly this year because the pressure is off, he can drive for himself a little bit more, the team have biffed him off for Lewis Hamilton.

“His natural talents are always going to flow with nothing to lose and everything to gain, all of the right mentality to just go and fly and really just take it to everybody and show everybody how wrong they are.


“That’s exactly what he’s done and he’s left Charles Leclerc floundering to an extent in some respects, and I would never underestimate Charles Leclerc, but I’d never underestimate Carlos Sainz either.

“I can understand what Ferrari have done, two biggest brands in F1 probably are Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton right now, and they’re joining up and it’s a great story.

“I think Mercedes, if Antonelli is ready, they’ll try and put Antonelli in Lewis Hamilton’s seat…

“So will Perez kick the Red Bull seat? That’s the key, that’s the cork in the bottle.

“Because putting Sainz in the Red Bull would be a no-brainer for me – or an Aston Martin or a Mercedes-Benz for that matter.

“He’s now got the experience, got speed, he still got youth on his side to an extent.”

For weeks, multiple reports have claimed that Sainz has been offered a lucrative deal by Audi, but the Ingolstadt firm which will officially enter F1 in 2026 has requested a swift response from the Spaniard.

But Brundle argues that Sainz’s interests would be better served by the 29-year-old keeping his options open for as long as possible.

“The problem Team Sainz have is that Sauber, let’s call them Audi going forward, are putting him under pressure to do a long-term deal, which means he will then be at Sauber next year treading water, and then hanging all of his chances on how quickly Audi can get their team and their power unit together and become competitive. And that’s no small task,” reasoned the ex-F1 driver.

“So he could actually go off and have a really serious three, even four seasons with another team and still join Audi when they’re ripe and ready to go.

“But they’re putting him under pressure to sign and I don’t see the other three teams ready to give into that pressure and sign Sainz.

“My advice to Carlos and his dad would be that things happen very quickly in this business - two weeks is a very long time in F1 - and just keep your options open.”

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